Ibada's journey began in Somalia and went through Saudi Arabia, where her daughter was born, continued to Syria and then to Jordan, where she lived several years in a refugee camp in Amman. Ibada has been in America almost two years and her husband just recently joined her. They want to stay here and become citizens. But she says, “It’s not my time. Must be here five years.” Ibada likes being in Mankato because she feels safe here.
Ibada is slowly learning to read and write in English at her classes at Vine. When asked how she uses her hands, she showed how she held and rocked her baby. She said she can do anything she wants to do with her hands, like writing, cleaning house, and cooking. She used to sew but is not doing that now and says “It was a long time ago.” Ibada also uses her hands to hold her cane, which she needs because of serious pain and arthritis in her knees.
“Everything I do with my hands is very important to me. It makes me feel happy, good, useful.”